Barry Hooper has had to make a written apology in the latest issue of the LTDA's Taxi paper, after attacking the RMT London Taxi Branch and some of it's members in the 22nd July edition.
In his article Barry Hooper said:
"I see the internet blog trolls are hard at work criticising the LTDA for nicking Uber drivers!"
Mr Hooper gave no reference to any particular article, twitter post or other social media comments, or where they were posted. Also he failed to name the blog he was accusing of being an Internet Troll Blog.
He went on to say: "The RMT was mentioned in a post that I read." (Giving no reference to any post).
As there has been no articles on Taxi Leaks criticising the LTDA for "Nicking Uber Drivers" just who is Mr Hooper referring to?
He went on to say "Okay, so what’s the RMT’s plan of action? Ah well, those that can, do!"
And that's right, between the month of July (when Barry made this comment) and September, Taxi Leaks, which is a Taxi Trade News Blog (not a subscription based trade org, taking in excess of £180,000 a month from drivers), has successfully stopped TfL from removing laminated IDs en masse from drivers who were not informed that LTPH saw this as a defacement. The Blog was successful because there was no mention of not laminating in the original cover letter.
More recently the blog that "Can Do" did get TfL to admit that under the transport act drivers can work on expired licenses until renewals arrive. We also informed the LTDA that Uber were operating from unlicensed premises in N1, which it seems they ignored. Perhaps Mr Hooper could explain why?
Mr Hooper than made a backhanded compliment, followed by another attack on the RMT.
"I will say one thing for the RMT, at the recent demo it managed to get it’s entire cab section to turn up and stand with a banner under the King Charles statue. Well done. What’s the union’s next move? I know, wait for someone to do something and then criticise it. That’ll do it.
Regardless of the court cases, it’s clear that TPH intends to muddy the waters, and buoyed up by criticism from the head trolls, will point the finger at the LTDA. Well it just doesn’t wash. It looks like we are heading for another day of action. Be ready."
"I look forward to seeing the RMT out in force again. Unity, that’s what I like. Slag us off but still show up for the photo call; that about sums them up.
Sadly, unity seems a long way off with this constant sniping at the LTDA."
Below is his apology, which was tucked away at the end of his column.
"A couple of issues back I had a dig at the RMT, or to be precise comments made by their members
on some anti LTDA troll blog sites, and one site in particular.
I spoke to the secretary of the taxi branch of the union, who was at pains to put me straight that anything on those sites even by prominent members of the RMT taxi branch, should not be taken as RMT policy or comment. I should only look at their website and what is printed in Taxi Globe, which apparently is the official publishing outlet for their policy and news statements. I’m sorry I got that wrong.
In future, I will check the “independent voice of the London taxi trade,” now known as RMT news, before commenting on the RMT."
Sandie Goodwin, editor of Taxi Globe tells Taxi Leaks:
"The column is supplied to me by the RMT Taxi Branch each fortnight. As editor I decide which news articles go in Taxi Globe. The paper is independently owned and has no affiliation with the RMT. My policy is to tell the story as it is and let drivers make their own minds up so I am quite happy to put the RMT column in as it is informative."
Another Hooper apology in the offering perhaps!
It seems Mr Hooper has accused anyone who doesn't agree with LTDA policy, or any rank and file driver who leaves comment on a Taxi blog as a Troll.
Yet Mr Hooper has had to apologise for being just that, an anti RMT troll.
Source: LTDA's Taxi Paper